Tuscan Grilled Pork Chops

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Pork chops!

Pretty common fare in kitchens across America for as long as I can remember. I grew up on them, but never looked forward to them as they were often served as drab looking, dried out disks of “the other white meat.” Then, I left home and ventured out of the Midwest where I found double cut pork chops, stuffed pork chops and the Mexican style chuletas. I’ve since changed my mind about this amazing cut and today, I’m thrilled to show you a simple preparation of an awesome chop provided by my friends Ty and Rachel at 5280 Pork.

In today’s recipe, I break down temperatures and explain the range where I like to cook my chops. I explain further, that if you source your pork properly, you needn’t worry about serving it medium or even medium-rare. It is also common to find Pork Carpaccio in high end restaurants. So, fear not!

Here are two other recipes of mine featuring pork chops:

Pork Chops, Braised Red Cabbage, Apples and Onions

Chipotle Chuletas con Hongos (Pork Chops with Mushrooms)

Okay. I really hope you’ll give this one a try. It is as easy as it gets, comes together in minutes, and is great for stocking your Paleo Bank Account.

I am still working on re-entry into real life after my amazing trip to Alaska. Tomorrow, I’ll do my best to recap the experience through story, pictures and even a poem… I hope you guys have a great night and that when you are tempted by the Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core that your wife got you as a welcome home present, you practice self-control and…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Trudging with a timber during our AK grinder workout. My man Tony Turski’s in the background crushing it!

Tuscan Grilled Pork Chops

Ingredient List:

  • 18 oz. thick cut, bone in pork chop or 16oz. boneless.
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste and ¼” for frying basil leaves (optional)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 10 basil leaves, chiffonade plus 4-6 large basil leaves left whole for frying (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, pasted
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire
  • 1 cup parsnip puree (see recipe below)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Heat a grill or cast iron grill pan over high heat until approximately 350°F.
  2. Pat your pork chops dry with a paper towel, then season the top side with kosher salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. When the grill pan is hot, place the chop/s, seasoned side down on the grill. Then, season the top side. Allow to cook while you prepare the tomato salad.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, capers, garlic, chiffonade of basil, balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well until uniform, and then taste the salad. Adjust the seasoning with kosher salt, pepper and/or balsamic. Set aside.
  4. Check in on the pork chop/s and give them the first rotation, which should be 45° offset from the first grill marks. Allow the pork to cook while you heat the parsnip puree and fry your basil leaves.
  5. Reheat the parsnip puree in a small sauté pan adding a little water if necessary. Once hot, cut the heat and set aside.
  6. To fry basil leaves, add ¼ inch of olive oil to a sauce pan and heat to 350°. Then drop leaves in one at a time and use a pair of tongs to submerge them. Leaves are done when bubbles subside, even though they may not look transparent. Remove them from the oil and set aside on a paper towel. They will continue to become translucent as they rest.
  7. Check in on your pork chop, flipping it, topping it with a few dashes of Worcestershire, rotating it as you did on the first side and cooking it to the temperature you like. I like mine cooked medium-rare-medium, which is around 130-140°F. If you are afraid to get sick, then cook to 165°, but if you are sourcing your pork properly, this is not an issue. You can always remove the chop/s from the grill and finish them in the oven.
  8. When pork is done to your liking, remove it from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. To plate, place a pile of parsnip puree on your plate, lean the chop/s on it, top it with the tomato salad and garnish with the fried basil leaf. If there is not room up top to stick the leaf in the parsnips, you can easily make a small slit in the chop and insert leaf there.
  10. When you are finished, dig in and smile because you are the epitome of a Culinary Ninja!!!

Parsnip Puree Ingredient List:

  • 6 Parsnips, peeled and chopped into uniform chunks (~8 Blocks)
  • ¼ cup light coconut milk (~3 Blocks)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions for the parsnips:

  1. Place Parsnips in a pot of cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook until they become fork tender, and then strain them through a colander.
  3. Place cooked parsnips in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Add Coconut milk, salt and pepper and puree once again. Adjust consistency and season with salt and pepper to your liking. (just like I do in the video).
  5. Serve with your bomb scallops, bacon and balsamic and don’t forget to….

“Keep It Paleo!”

As always, this recipe is only a guideline. Be creative and season to your liking. You could always add a little Thai curry paste to give the parsnips a bit of a kick!

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